A postsyntactic morphome cookbook

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In this tutorial, I introduce methods to implement morphomes (i.e., systematisc patterns of unnatural syncretism, Aronoff 1994) in Distributed Morphology (DM, Halle & Marantz 1993). Whereas proponents of DM have virtually completely ignored the morphome concept, I show that the theory provides a crucial formal mechanism to transfer morphomes into a postsyntactic setting: “parasitic” morphological features which are not interpretable by syntax, but depend in their distribution on other features. I discuss two canonical methods in DM to make such features available to morphological spellout, postsyntactic rules, and decomposition of syntactic features, and show that parasitic features allow for a formalization of the classical morphome cases and for capturing restrictions imposed by morphomic categories on specific morphological systems.


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